This comfort food is great by itself transformed or into Broccoli Cheddar Mac n' Cheese!
Broccoli & Cheddar
- 1 head of Broccoli; cut into small pieces - including stalk
- 1/2 pound bacon; diced
- 1 medium Yellow Onion; diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves; chopped
- 3 tablespoons Flour
- 6 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 1/2 pound White Cheddar Cheese; shredded; divided
- Chili Flakes; to taste
- Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 pound Whole Wheat Fusilli
- 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook Broccoli for 2 minutes then strain and place into an ice bath for 1 minute to cool. Drain and set aside. If making Mac n' Cheese version cook pasta in the same pot 1 minute short of the package instructions, drain and set aside.
- In a Dutch oven, cook the Bacon over low heat to render and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove crispy Bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for garnish.
- Turn heat up to medium and Onions, seasoning lightly. Cook until softened then stir in Garlic. Once Garlic is fragrant sprinkle in the Flour and whisk to incorporate.
- Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes or until Flour is golden. Slowly whisk in the Chicken Stock & simmer for 5 minutes, adjusting seasoning and Chili Flake to taste. Add in 2/3 of the blanched Broccoli. Using an immersion blend, puree the mixture until smooth.
- Stir in the Milk and remove from heat. Add 2/3 of the Cheese and stir until melted. Add the remaining Broccoli.
- Serve warm garnished with crispy Bacon.
- To create a Broccoli Cheddar Mac n' Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together Panko Bread Crumbs, crispy Bacon, Parmesan Cheese, Chili Flakes (optional), Salt & Pepper to taste.
3. Return 5 cups of soup to the heat, add remaining Cheese and stir just until melted. Put the cooked Pasta Noodles into a greased 9x13" baking dish. Pour the Cheese sauce over top. Sprinkle the Panko mixture over the dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.